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Myspace Safety: 51 Tips for Teens and Parents Paperback – May 14, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: How-To Primers (May 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977883353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977883356
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,216,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
In this book, authors Kevin and Dale Farnham--whose daughter was one of the original members of myspace.com--have created a comprehensive guide to the entire MySpace web domain. In addition to offering specific safety tips, the authors guide the reader step-by-step through each facet of myspace.com. For parents, this is an excellent overview of the site, and the book will likely increase their awareness of MySpace's various functions, settings, and possible risks for their children.

The other intended audience is the teens themselves; unfortunately, I believe that most teens will have little interest in what the authors have to say. The majority of the recommendations which the Farnhams make stem from the basic advisement not to reveal personal information over the internet, including on myspace.com personal pages. The Farnhams do an adequate job of describing the reasons for this caution, but I don't think that they will be able to pursuade most teens. For example, they highly discourage teens from revealing where they go to school, a basic fact which I believe the average teenager would readily share despite any precautions.

Still, I agree with the basic tenet that the best way to keep kids safe is for parents to be well-informed. Therefore, I do recommend this book for parents of teens who are already or who plan to become MySpace users, as it is an excellent means for parents to thoroughly acquaint themselves with this particular online phenomenom.
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Format: Paperback
I recently received a copy of the book MySpace Safety: 51 Tips for Teens and Parents by Kevin Farnham and Dale Farnham. Since I have two teens (and I'm their parent), I thought it might be interesting to see what they had to say. As a means for some common ground discussion (and to help educate the adult side), this works pretty well.

Contents: Introduction; Get Ready For MySpace; Joining MySpace; Setting Up Your Account; Your Profile; MySpace Friends; The Extended Network; Group Interaction; Scripted Safety; Abuse; Leaving MySpace; Afterword; Resources; Order This Book

This appears to be a self-published book that focuses on the MySpace social networking site. The main thrust is to educate parents and teens on how they can be active in MySpace without taking unnecessary risks to expose themselves to predators or identity thieves. The material is presented in (as the title states) 51 safety tips on what you need to know about MySpace when it comes to personal information. The authors have combined the safety tips with a small amount of "how to" information that will help the MySpace newbie get up to speed on the features, as well as helping them to avoid initial mistakes that might be hard to fix later on. The writing is pretty clear and understandable for both adults and teens, so really anyone with decent reading skills should be able to use this guide effectively to understand what's at stake.

Realistically, most techies who spend a lot of time online will not find many new revelations here. There's a lot of emphasis on not giving out information that could be used to allow others to narrow down your location and such. But that's not, in my opinion, a drawback.
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Format: Paperback
While parents may have a hard time getting their teenagers to read the safety guides as they are much more interested in reading the most recent posts on their friends' blogs, Kevin and Dale's book is a comprehensive guide for parents who =need= to know how MySpace works and how their children are using it. As a talking tool and a resource for parents, the book is right on, particularly useful for parents who are not especially tech-saavy. The specific ways to avoid being tracked, examples of ways MySpace can be used appropiately and also how information can be misused and even put your children in danger, are all incredibly valuable and written in an easy, accessible manner.

All parents of internet-generation teens should have a copy!
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Format: Paperback
This book is written (obviously) from a purely safety perspective. While not entirely alarmist, the authors present guidance on using MySpace from the standpoint of minimizing the risk of contact from members with "malicious" intent. Minimizing that risk is not just about minimizing visibility on MySpace, so there are warnings and advice throughout the book as it steps through the process of signing up and using MySpace.

Notably, the authors' philosophy on parenting teens using MySpace is to get to know their world to be able to advise them appropriately:

"What's an appropriate response for parents? To get accustomed to the new world...learn about and teach your teens about the risks, and ideally to enjoy participating with them in this new form of interaction that has become normal for [this] generation."

The book is intended to be a "user's manual" with "specific warnings about MySpace dangers and specific methods to minimize the risk that comes with having a [...] account." As the book moves from introduction to setting up an account and modifying account settings, to using MySpace, there are numbered "Safety Tip" sections after discussions of each feature, giving the authors' recommendations.

While the book is well written, it speaks primarily to the parent reader, occasionally stepping aside to address teens. While the discussion and tips are good, the focus is so narrow it is easy to begin relegating the whole book to paranoia. I think the better choice of books would be MySpace Unraveled. Although in some areas this book has more information, it is more dated, and lacks screenshots. Still, it is worthy of consideration, especially if your main concern is the safety issue on MySpace.
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